Muturi: MPs care about wage bill, allowances justified

Speaker Justin Muturi. He has defended MPs' monthly allowances as proposed by PSC. [File, Standard]

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has joined the chain of those rooting for the introduction of monthly allowances to Members of Parliament, saying that such benefits are justified.

In the wake of public condemnation and in reaction to recent media revelation that MPs pocketed Sh1 billion worth of allowances; Muturi has said that the legislators merit the perks.

“The recent PSC determination to provide a housing benefit to MPs was well guided by Justice Chacha Mwita's ruling on 5th Oct, 2018, that State Officers qualify for this benefit.

It is a matter of fact that MPs are State Officers; thus it would be unfair to be prejuced against them,” he noted in a tweet.

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The move by the PSC sparked criticism from Kenyans, with most bashing the law makers for being gluttonous and undeterred by the scaling government wage bill.

Muturi sought to alleviate such concerns on his Wednesday tweet, saying:

“The notion that MPs are not concerned about Kenya's wage bill is fallacious. Kenyans must not allow the Salaries and Remuneration Commission to be selective and discriminatory in its determination. A housing benefit is extended to all Public Servants &State Officers alike.”

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He went ahead and accused critics of the proposed allowances (Sh250,000 per member) of what he terms as hypocrisy in their selective reaction. Muturi said that same benefits have been extended to members of Executive and the Judiciary, and that it is high time the Legislature gets its share.  

This precedes a statement by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission which termed the introduced allowances as irregular. The SRC noted that setting MPs salaries is its jurisdiction, hence a move by the PSC would be unconstitutional and null.

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“Article 260 of the Constitution categorizes Members of Parliament as State Officers and as such, determination of their remuneration and benefits is the exclusive responsibility of SRC. Payment of any remuneration and benefits, which have not been set or advised by SRC is in violation of the Constitution,” read a statement by the SRC.

According to the commission, the move would deprive Treasury funds meant for rolling development projects and even force the taxpayers to dig deeper into their pockets.

Muturi joins COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli who recently declared his support for the introduction of MPs’ allowances.

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National AssemblyJustin MuturiPSCMPs allowances